The Mother Divine
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Our Master Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath says:

Imagine nothing to be possible or impossible for Me. I can bind an elephant with the fibre of a lotus-stalk, drown a mountain in a cow’s foot-print, none can determine My course of action. Avoid worrying about health, wealth and debt: I’ve made every provision. Call, call Me, all your anguish shall cease.

In another instance, he says:

O My darling of delight! Pray don’t remain oblivious of Me anymore. O you, dearer to Me than life itself! It’s not you alone that weep with anguish in the throes of life; I too weep with you and say: ‘Call Me, O call Me’; I will do away with all your pain, I will, I will, I will.

Pay close attention to the highlighted words. He says “Call me, call me.”

Almost every time, Thakur says ‘Call me’ more than once. Perhaps he wishes to tell us that calling is something we must do repeatedly, not just once.

This “calling” is a matter for contemplation.

When Draupadi was being dishonoured in the Kaurava court, she called out for Krishna and the Lord appeared and helped her with an endless saree. Gajendra in the famous Gajendra Moksha episode called out to Lord Vishnu, Prahlada called the Lord and He appeared as Narasimha. This calling has been spoken of in Christianity as well. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (The Psalm 50:15p>

All these are instances of the power of calling.

Swami Ramsukhdas says, “The easiest and simplest way to ‘Bhagwatprapti’ (God- realisation), is to call out with a desperate heart ‘O Lord! O My Lord!’ Calling God in this way is more effective than divine name-chanting etc. This can be done by any one, a sinner, a pious person, an illiterate man or a scholar etc.”

The paths of Jnana Yoga, Raj Yoga, Karma Yoga and even Bhakti Yoga for that matter, require preparation and competence, but calling out to God needs nothing. Like a child who gains everything from the mother by simply calling out, a devotee can rightfully covet the grace of God by simply calling out. One has just to repeat the words ‘Hey Nath! Hey Mere Nath!’(O Lord! O My Lord!).

Prahlad gave us the method for reaching out to God with his Navadha Bhakti protocols. These nine ways are “listening to pastimes” (Shravanam), “remembering” (Smaranam), “singing glories” (Keertanam), “offering salutations” (Vandanam), “serving the lotus feet of the Lord” (Pada-sevanam), “servantship” (Daasyam), “offering worship” (Archanam), “befriending” (Sakhyam) and “offering oneself” (Atmanivedanam). They are all calculated to summon His presence, so to speak.

Unlike the navadha strategies which indirectly amount to calling Him, just directly calling Him, makes one establish a personal, direct connection.

A question arose in my mind: Can we term this “calling” as the tenth limb of Navadha Bhakti? Say, avhaanam? The tenth one given by Thakur Sitaramdas Omkarnath? I put this question to Dr Arindam Chakrabarti, noted scholar and philosopher and one of the greatest disciples of Thakur.

He wrote:

None of this directly amounts to “CALLING” (Addressing and saying “COME”, crying out “Hey Listen to me” and more and more a direct, intimate, interlocutionary relationship). The Hindi would be “bulAnA” (Drawing near to talk to someone).

Yes, you can and should call it the tenth way.

And there is an additional mystical coincidence here. Thakur was fond of telling this Advaita Vedanta story: Ten people go to bathe in the river. On the way back they count repeatedly and only find nine of themselves. So they think one person is missing. So one of them asks a passer-by (the Guru) “Have you seen the tenth one?” The passer-by counted and said “You are the Tenth one” (Dashamah tvam asi). Everyone was missing to count themselves, hence the miscounting of nine only! So the “TENTH” is Advaitic, rediscovering ONESELF as the missing one. By calling the Tenth method, our CALL to God/ to Krishna/ To Mother/To Shiva, becomes the rediscovery of MYSELF as THAT Called one.

When we do japa, dhyana, naam etc. we, of course, intend to connect with God. But that connection is a consequence of the act. But in directly calling God, we take the shortest cut and reach Him the fastest.

Swami Vivekananda says “Go to God directly. No theories, no doctrines. Then alone will all doubts vanish. Then alone will all crookedness be made straight.” And this can be achieved by calling Him.

One may get so lost in the act of japa or naam that the very Being who is being summoned may be forgotten and just the mechanics of sadhana might take over. But in calling there is no intermediary step. We are in His presence at once.

Calling is of course a prarthana, a petition so to speak. It has enormous power because it brings one’s heart to the fore directly.

In my distress I called upon the Lord,

And cried to my God for help;

He heard my voice out of His temple,

And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.

It is of utmost importance for each seeker to get to the point immediately and the point is God. By calling Him, we hit the target at once.

By calling Him, we receive His call.

Today the world is besieged with a dreadful pandemic. Covid has shaken the very foundations of our lives. These are difficult times and we must call out for God’s help.

Let us all call out to Him from the bottom of our hearts.

As Dr Chakrabarti says, God, in the capacity of “bhava-roga-vaidya”, the Physician who treats our disease of world-attachment, he is ALWAYS ON-CALL!!